Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the Ontario Court of Appeal on its insight while ruling on the “no means no” rape shield law.
When the new amendments were introduced and became more commonly known as the “no means no” rape shield law, defence lawyers and civil libertarians predicted the new rules would be found unconstitutional.
This provision restricts the ability of defence lawyers to question sexual assault complainants about their previous sexual history, even with that of the accused.
In a major decision the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the rape shield provision does not violate the charter of rights and freedoms.
Regarding the constitutionality of the new provision, the three judge panel decided: “The admission of evidence of the prior sexual activity of a complainant clearly infringes the complainant's privacy interests and these should be protected to the fullest extent possible while maintaining an accused's right to make full answer and defence”.
This decision is a sound and sensible precedent. It makes good law.